Best ELD Device Reviews & Electronic Logging Buyer Guide




Tracking driving behaviors involves many daunting tasks, especially if you don’t own an Electronic Logging Device. You have to monitor hard cornering, excessive acceleration, and other bad driving behaviors.

In the United States, trailers and trucks must have an ELD installed. Monitoring a driver’s working hours, this device is meant to replace paper logs. Whether you’re a casual driver, a carrier, or an operator, installing an ELD to your vehicle(s) can prevent accidents.

With a myriad of brands to choose from, selecting the best ELD for your business may prove to be quite overwhelming. Before selecting a product, you must consider its features, ease of use, and configuration.

Don’t rush when buying this device because you also have to consider compliance and compatibility. If you don’t, your newly purchased ELD may be incompatible with your vehicle or with state regulations.

To make sure that your money won’t go to waste, check out the top ELD devices this year in the buyer’s guide section. If you’re looking for the answer to a specific question with regards to ELDs, head to the FAQ section.

The Ten Best ELD Devices of 2020

Switchboard ELD Review

The Switchboard ELD is small in size. But what it lacks in size, it compensates in the number of features it provides to operators like you. It’s also easy to use and lightweight.

The driver application and carrier web portal can be used by total beginners. As long as you know how to use a smartphone or tablet, you can operate the Switchboard ELD with ease.

Additionally, the application runs smoothly on Android devices. It doesn’t require frequent updates and continual adjustments. You may use your own mobile or buy a Switchboard smartphone.

The Switchboard ELD looks and feels like a child’s tablet. The applications and the dashboard are straightforward. Using an app installed in the ELD seems like using Facebook or your phone’s daily weather viewer.

It has the tools that your drivers need to browse and monitor their logs. They can add comments when they are changing their Driver Status or conducting a pre-trip inspection.

With a few taps, they can also run report recaps for the full-week. The logs include time used and time worked. When they make log corrections, they can see the exact modifications in real-time.

On top of all that, this ELD complies with FMSCA regulation and supports all required features. For its key features, see the list below.

  • IFTA

  • Digital Vehicle Inspection Records (DVIRS)

  • Fax logs

  • Free email logs

  • Driving timers

  • Weight station bypass

  • Electronic lots

  • Fault codes and engine diagnostics

  • Speeding alerts

  • Built-in navigation

  • Harsh braking notifications

  • Document capture

Pros

  • Intuitive design

  • Reliable Bluetooth connection

  • No monthly fees

  • Support HOS rules for Canada and the US

  • FMCSA certified

  • AOBRD availability

Drawback

  • Has unidentified driving tools

ELD Chrome by Pedigree Technologies Review

As the number two product in this list, you can be assured that ELD Chrome has many features in store for you. This device is reliable and compliant.

For more than 12 years now, Pedigree Technologies have been known to offer high quality Automatic On-Board Recording Devices.

The tablet comes with a plug-and-play cradle and a super-fast communication cable. These two add-ons eliminate the need for data plans and Bluetooth.

This one-view ELD offers Cab Mate One, enhanced visibility, cloud-based storage, and an upgradeable platform.

Here are its main features:

  • Cab-Mate One

This application allows you to easily manage your fleet. The OneView applications offer two-click upgrades.

  • Enhanced Visibility

Pedigree’s ELD Chrome was referred to as FleetPOV. This is because of its ability to record critical compliance data electronically. It can record fuel receipts, state mileage, driving hours, and inspection reports for the different vehicles in your truck fleet.

In addition, you may utilize this ELD for dispatching and work orders.

Field tests have also proven its efficiency in generating electronic logbooks and streamlining reporting. For compliance, it supports the following features:

  • Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR)

  • Document Image Capture

  • Fuel purchase forms generation

  • FMCSA-certified electronic driver logs

  • Automated Fuel Tax Reporting (IFTA)

  • Two-way messaging

  • An Open and Expendable Platform

The OneView platform is customizable. You can upgrade it easily to meet safety compliance, performance, and enterprise needs. Pedigree offers free APIs for every successful purchase of ELD Chrome. This enables you to integrate with 3rd party service providers for business growth.

Pros

  • Enhanced visibility and control

  • Scalable and expandable upon purchase

  • Provides complete visibility to your fleet

  • Offers more than a handful application for HOS

Drawbacks

  • A bit complicated to use

Blue Ink Bit ELD Review

Affordability, fleet management tools, and ease of installation are only some of the features that you can enjoy by installing Blue Ink Bit ELD.

What’s more, most ELDs will require monthly fees for their services. Blue Ink is different. They don’t charge monthly fees.

Because of its basic design, the Bit ELD only offers basic FMCSA compliance features. In accordance with FMCSA requirements, this ELD is designed to collect the following data.

  • Engine ON/OFF status

  • In-motion status

  • Odometer mileage

  • Engine hours

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The Web Dashboard and Bit ELD app are 100% free. In addition to this, the device is relatively easy to use.

For instance, you can easily change your Duty Status to Active or Inactive. Likewise, the logs are easy to certify. By just clicking every log, you can see event-based data.

When you install the BIT app in your mobile, you can access the dashboard and see the number of working hours left for every driver. It also showcases shift status and cycle times.

Pros

  • No monthly fees

  • Easy installation and ease of use

  • Movable and flexible

  • Ensures that enough logs is generated for every set cycle

  • Enables you to set up maintenance schedules

  • Allows for managing and accessing driving records

  • DOT and FMCSA compliant

Drawback

  • Limited functionalities

Gorilla Safety ELD Review

Gorilla Safety is intuitive, user-friendly, and offers fleet and risk management solutions. On top of all of that, it’s a cloud-based ELD, which means it offers off-grid logging and secure storage and retrieval of data.

This ELD offers operators and drivers much more than just mandate compliance. With it, you can improve SMS scores, enhance productivity, and control operational costs. All of these stats can be managed in the Gorilla Safety app that you have to install on your phone.

Gorilla Safety’s ELD solution has three major components:

  • A cloud-based dashboard

  • Android and iOS applications

  • An Electronic Logging Device

When combined, the components above provides a number of features designed to integrate safety and efficiency into your fleet. You can manage many business processes in just one platform.

Here are the key features of Gorilla Safety ELD:

  • HoS electronic recording

  • Real-time reporting for client management

  • Close-loop inspections

  • Tracking fleet assets through GPS

  • Storing and developing critical documents

  • Tracking and storing of critical documents

Pros

  • Durable and easy to use

  • Reliable risk management apps

  • Document management

  • GPS tracking enabled

  • Web-based and mobile dashboard

  • Cloud-based dashboard

  • Risks notifications

Drawback

  • You must purchase the ELD as a bundled product

Eroad Ehubo Review

First and foremost, Eroad Ehubo is compliant with DOT and FMCSA requirements. Its second most appealing feature to drivers is its intuitive dashboard and interface. Reviewing and editing logs will be easy with this top-of-the-line Electronic Logging Device.

Eroad Ehubo’s back office features make it easy for you to edit and review logs. Its system can serve as a replacement to a distance tracker. It can even calculate fuel tax and consumption.

Here are its key features:

  • ELD compliance and IFTA reporting

  • Long-distance fleet management

  • Accurate recordkeeping

  • Roadside enforcement and HOS reporting

  • Short-haul exemptions and timesheet reports

Pros

  • Ease of use and compact

  • Enables location tracking

  • Single in-vehicle unit

  • Fuel cost management

  • Real-time and project time reporting

  • Risk and safety alerts

Drawback

  • GPS navigation feature pending

KeepTruckin ELD Review

KeepTruckin ELD truly shines in terms of ease of use and affordability. And, to make things even easier, it has its own smartphone app—which can be downloaded free of charge, available for both Android and iOS.

It would be safe to say that the app itself is the current best among bundled apps for ELD solutions. Quick reviews and recaps can be accessed with minimal presses. Logs editing is entirely hassle-free as well.

KeepTruckin ELD is indeed feature-rich despite being marketed as an affordable alternative. It supports integration with the top TMS providers, aside from having a full list of telematics (e.g. engine status, geofencing).

This budget-friendly ELD also comes with these key features:

  • Support for messaging

  • Fuel optimization options

  • Accurate idling tracker

  • Safety scorecards for drivers

  • Fuel tax reporting (IFTA)

Pros

  • Much more affordable than most other ELDs

  • Easy-to-use interface, well-designed app

  • An impressive list of telematics despite the low price

Drawback

  • Possible issues with contract and/or subscription terms

Omnitracs IVG Review

There’s no denying that Omnitracs is among the most trusted brands in the world of ELDs. And, their Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG) is being marketed as the next step in the evolution of telematics solutions.

While the Omnitracs IVG does have a full list of features that you would expect from a top-of-the-line ELD, it also boasts of functions that can only be described as innovative.

Wi-Fi integration, for example, makes it possible to do important tasks without having to be on the driver’s seat. Sending updates or even signatures and images can all be done through this system.

There are upcoming features as well, including a hotspot mode that should allow drivers to connect to the web through the IVG itself. This means that a number of smart devices can finally be used while on the road.

If you’re interested in its key features, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Critical event reporting (for improving CSA scores)

  • Drivewyze’s PreClear Support (system for bypassing weight station)

  • Clear, high-resolution touch display

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity

Pros

  • Top-of-the-line features and functionalities

  • Support for popular connectivity options

  • Straightforward installation (uses a single cable)

  • Can work with voice commands

Drawback

  • Rather expensive, especially in terms of its upfront cost

  • Likely to be out of reach cost-wise, at least for some

What is an ELD?

An Electronic Logging Device (E-Log or ELD) is electronic hardware attached to a commercial vehicle. Its main purpose is to record driving hours, but it also offers many safety benefits.

Very often, the working hours of bus and truck drivers are regulated by the Hours of Service (HoS) in the United States. In Europe, there’s a similar set of rules called Driver’s Working Hours.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues the HoS regulations. They also govern the driving hours of any individual who is operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in the US.

It limits the number of weekly and daily hours spent working and driving. The regulations apply to bus, truck, and other CMV drivers. HoS regulations regulate the minimum amount of time of shifts and rest periods. ELDs make this possible.

An Electronic Logging Device monitors a vehicle’s engine. It collects data on whether or not the engine is functioning properly. It also records the miles driven and the duration of engine operation.

A decade ago, paper logs or electronic onboard recorders were utilized for HoS tracking. Although EOBRs offer accuracy, the absence of a uniform data form implies that the logs must be printed on paper. This must be done for enforcement and review.

Within the ELD legislation, the Record of Duty Status clause defines the format and sets the rules for enforcement personnel review. This is why the mandate for ELDs was created.

The FMSCA has already announced the Final Rule of the mandate. Fleets equipped with ELD technology have only until December 2019 to comply with the published specifications.

All in all, an ELD is a high-tech device that monitors the HoS of a CMV. In the US, FMCSA inspectors will strictly regulate ELDs. Hence, you must only select the ELD that can comply with the set standards.

The buyer’s guide below can further help you pick the right device for your vehicle or fleet. The section after that will introduce to you the best ELDs of 2020.

ELD Buyer’s Guide

Like other fleet managers or drivers in the US, you are probably accustomed to EOBRs. However, paper logs won’t be allowed anymore. And, installing an ELD device is now required for CMVs. If you’re caught utilizing an EOBR, you could face a $ 1,000 fine.

The ELD mandate might have caught you by surprise. It’s official now. Like other laws, the mandate has more than a handful of requirements that you have to meet.

As such, your ELD device(s) should comply with these standards, in addition to being compatible with your commercial motor vehicle(s). Don’t be like other operators who made rash decisions and ended up with the wrong ELD.

Before selecting a service provider and ELD, read on the important features and aspects below.

Ease of Use and Compatibility

If you’re an operator, you probably own different models of trucks. In this case, you should avail of an ELD solution that is compatible with almost all make of vehicles.

The Geotab Drive, for example, is very flexible. It streamlines complex business processes, such as Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting and Hours of Service.

Getting a universal ELD solution can help you save time and money. As an example, you don’t need to train your workers to install drives and operate multiple systems. Also, when you have to sell old trucks and buy new ones, you can reuse your universal ELDs.

After compatibility, consider ease of use. The ELD must not be complex. Recruits must be able to operate it after a rundown of its main functions and operation. Drivers are often busy; reduce their tasks a bit by installing a user-friendly Electronic Logging Device.

Configuration

Do settle for hardware and software that can be configured for your needs or the needs of your fleet. In the future, you may have to upgrade your device(s). Hence, your preferred model must not only be flexible but also upgradeable.

You should likewise watch out for free Software Development Kits (SDKs) and APIs. Due to the high demand for ELDs, many manufacturers are now offering freebies.

The device should also allow easy integration with the service providers available in your area and third-party solutions, like temperature sensors, TMS applications, fuel cards, and cameras.

Universal and user-friendly ELDs enable operators to access comprehensive truck data.

Best Cloud-Based ELD Models

Cloud-based ELDs are superior to basic ELDs. HOS is important to your business. As such, leveraging cloud computing is necessary. Why is this so?

Cloud-based ELDs don’t require pairing with other devices to store and transfer data securely. A simple malfunction won’t affect data storage, retrieval, and collection.

Drivers will also have an easy time maintaining accurate logs, even when they are operating different trucks. Such ELDs rely on cloud technology, not on cellular coverage.

Best Event-Based ELDs

The event-based feature enables you to periodically check the location of the device. With it, you can also monitor the speed of the vehicle, even if it is thousands of miles away. Every time ping can occur in intervals of 1 to 15. This can aid you in ascertaining the status of the vehicle when it’s out of coverage.

Every “event change,” such as braking and harsh acceleration, will be recorded in the device. Event-based logging will allow you to manage your trucks more effectively than when using paper logs.

Best Off-Grid Logging Devices

In case you choose a basic ELD, the device will rely on the available cellular network to transmit and record data. Such models will not work when the truck is out of coverage. But if off-grid logging is enabled, every log will be saved in the device’s built-in memory. When the device is within coverage again, you can retrieve the data for the offline logs.

Safety Measures

If you’re an operator, you know how crucial it is for your business to maintain good safety scores. ELD-related violations can affect your SMS scores.

Costly violations can eat a huge chunk in your profit. They may also turn brokers and insurers away. Some ELDs notify drivers when they are about to break a violation. With this feature, you can avoid fines and violations during inspections and maintain a good CSA score.

Registration

Before choosing a product, first, check whether or not the model is registered with the FMCSA. Now, you should also check whether or not the vendor is licensed to sell ELDs.

If the seller is on the FMCSA ELD vendor list, then you can be assured that their products meet the required technical specifications.

Frequently Asked Questions (faqs) 

  • What is the ELD rule?

The ELD mandate (ELD Final Rule) is a United States Federal Government regulation. It specifies that operators of CMVs must use ELDs.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has begun enforcing the mandate since December 18, 2017. The OOSC associated with the said law have gone into effect on April 1, 2018.

  • Who is exempted from the ELD Final Rule?

If you don’t use a commercial working vehicle, you are exempted from this rule.

  • How much does an ELD cost?

With the Final Rule, the FMCSA estimates that an ELD will cost operators or CMV owners $150 annually. On average, an Electronic Logging Device can cost you $150 to $550. Installation fees may range from $120 to $350.

  • Why are older trucks exempted from the mandate?

This is due to the fact that old trucks are often equipped with an engine older than the 2000s model.

What vehicles are ELD exempt?

  • Tows

  • Vehicles equipped with timecards

  • Vehicles manufactured before 2000

  • Recreation vehicle trailers

  • Vehicles that tow mobile homes

Why are glider kits exempted from the ELD mandate?

Not all glider kits are exempted from the mandate. If it’s a 1980s or 1990s model, then it’s free from the Final Rule.

  • How far can a truck drivers in the US legally drive in a day?

CMV drivers can only travel 550 miles per day.

  • Will the ELD mandate be overturned?

It may not be overturned. It’s already a federal law.

  • What is the 100 air mile exemption?

This exception is for CDL drivers. CDL drivers are typically drivers of CMVs over 26,000 lbs. They go off duty after completing a 12-hour shift, and they can only operate within 100 air miles daily.

The Verdict

Operators and CMV drivers in the US are now rushing to get their hands on top-of-the-line ELDs. Before doing this, you must stop and consider whether you’re really investing in the right device.

As mentioned above, there are several aspects that you can use to appraise an ELD. GPS tracking is popular—but the ease of use, off-grid logging, cloud-based data storage, and event-based logging are more important than other features.

On top of all of that, the model, vendor, and the manufacturer must be certified by the FMCSA. The device must have the required features listed in the ELD mandate.

The Switchboard ELD, the number one Electronic Logging Device of 2020, offers all of the features and aspects above. It improves the security of your commercial vehicle(s) with its alerts and safety management.




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